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PREVIEW: Game #17 – Steelheads vs. Rush

Saturday, November 17th
PREVIEW: Game #17 – Steelheads vs. Rush

PREVIEW: IDAHO STEELHEADS (6-7-3) VS. RAPID CITY RUSH (7-6-2)

SATURDAY, NOV. 17, 2018 | 7:10 PM | CENTURYLINK ARENA | BOISE, IDRADIO: 1350AM KTIK | TV: CABLEONE CH. 72 | STREAM: ECHL TV

Tonight’s Game: The Steelheads close their six-game home stand and reach the midway game of their six-game stretch against the Rapid City Rush from CenturyLink Arena.

Head-To-Head: The Steelheads have points in both games against the Rush to open the series with a 1-0-0-1 record heading into the third game of their six-game stretch over two weeks. The Steelheads now have wins in 12 of their last 15 games against the Rush while taking six of seven at home. Overall, the Steelheads own a 27-10-3 record against the Rush.

Last Night: The Steelheads scored twice on the power play en route to a 3-2 win over the Rush on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena. Steelheads forward Steve McParland (10:05 1st) scored the opening goal and lone tally of the first period to take a 1-0 lead. The Rush scored two goals starting with defenseman Riley Weselowski (3:27 2nd) followed by forward Michael Turner (SH, 8:40 2nd) to take a 2-1 lead. The Steelheads answered again with a pair of power play goals from forward A.J. White (PP, 9:47 2nd) then defenseman Colton Saucerman (PP, 19:17 2nd), edging ahead 3-2. The Steelheads would hold down the Rush to take the win. Tomas Sholl (2-2-0) halted 20 of 22 shots in the win, while Michael Bitzer (3-2-1) stopped 25 of 28 shots in the loss.

Home Stand Update: The Steelheads have just one game remaining in their six-game home stand, but despite mixed results for finite results the team has pieced together a strong point stretch. The win last night ended a three-game loss streak but simultaneously extends their unbeaten regulation streak to three games and nets points in four of their five games at home over the last two weeks. The Steelheads are 2-1-1-1 during their home stand with one game remaining tonight to level their win-loss differential (2-3).

Strong Starts: The Steelheads continue to be the dominant team in the first period, extending their strong run throughout the home stand with another leading goal last night. The Steelheads now have the game’s opening goal in four of five games this home stand and have led after the first period in all four of those games. In the process, the Steelheads are outscoring opponents 8-4 in the first period and also netted their second win in four chances when leading through the first and second periods, going 2-0-1-1 but with points in all four games.

D-Man Strong: The Steelheads played a strong defensive game to help lock in the win while getting contributions defensively. The Steelheads allowed merely 22 shots in last night’s game, which is the fewest this season overtaking their 25-shot holding of Tulsa on October 13 (2-1 L) and is the second time in this home stand where the Steelheads have held opponents to fewer than 30 shots. In addition, defenseman Colton Saucerman scored his first point with the Steelheads, which came as the game-winning power play goal in the second period.

Powered Up: The Steelheads power play was effective in last night’s win, proving to be the difference in the one-goal win. It was the first time the Steelheads netted a multi-goal effort on the power play this season and the first since Mar. 31, 2018 that the Steelheads scored more than one power play goal coming against the Utah Grizzlies in a 2-for-6 effort (4-2 W). On the flip side, the Steelheads killed off their most penalties of the season, going perfect in all six chances last night. The team has back-to-back perfect games for the first time since the opening two games on October 12 and 13 (6-for-6), and they’ve held the Rush off the scoreboard on the power play in nine-straight chances despite allowing shorthanded goals in consecutive games.

Snooze Button: The Rapid City Rush have started slow in a majority of their games this season, which has forced them to push in the second and third periods. The Rush have now allowed the game’s opening goal in 10 of their first 15 games this season including both games during this trip to Boise, which spreads their goal differential in the first period to -12 (7 GF - 19 GA). The story changes in the third period, where the Rush hold a 16-8 advantage in goals and 21-10 including overtime and shootout tallies. When the Rush take the game’s opening goal, they’re 3-2-0-0 thus far.

MOUNTAIN DIVISION STANDINGS:

TEAM GP W L OTL SOL PTS PCT
Kansas City Mavericks 12 9 2 1 0 19 .792
Utah Grizzlies 13 8 2 3 0 19 .731
Tulsa Oilers 12 7 1 2 2 18 .750
Rapid City Rush 15 7 6 1 1 16 .533
Idaho Steelheads 16 6 7 1 2 15 .469
Wichita Thunder 12 5 4 3 0 13 .542
Allen Americans 15 3 10 0 2 8 .267

Next Game: The Steelheads pick up their six-game stretch against the Rush on Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 7:05 p.m. from Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. MT on 1350-AM KTIK and ECHL TV.

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